It’s a bit hard to believe, but we’re heading into the third week of August! Here in Cape May it’s still sizzling hot, tropically humid, and teeming with vacationers, locals, day trippers, and everyone in between! The prime season this year has been BUSY…so busy, in fact, that it’s easy to forget labor day being merely around the corner. With it will come the official end to summer’s prime season. School begins, the weather ever so slightly cools, and a slower pace gradually overtakes the Cape May community. In short, the wave of summer recedes just as quickly as it washed over us. Autumn is the favored season of many Cape May locals and regular visitors. In the coming weeks we will certainly be keeping you up to date as to the happenings around town after the summer dust settles! But before we set our sights on crisp breezes and long autumn weekends, it’s time to talk about something a bit further away…your 2017 summer vacation!
Yes…you heard right. We know that summer 2016 has not yet drawn to a close. In fact, many of you have yet to arrive for your 2016 Cape May vacation! How could we possibly be talking about NEXT summer? Well, we are talking about it because YOU, our rental guests, are talking about it! This year, Homestead’s rental team is witnessing an unprecedented demand for 2017 rentals. We are fielding a steady stream of 2017 rental inquiries unlike we’ve ever seen in previous years. This certainly excites us…but we’ve also realized that there is an element of misinformation regarding the process of booking your rental for next year. We strive to cultivate a seamless booking process so that your Cape May vacation planning is what it should be…fun! So without further ado, here are some of our most common questions regarding booking a rental for next summer, asked and answered.
Q. “Is 2017 really COMPLETELY booked at this property? The calendar says so!”
A. No! The vast majority of rental homes have already secured reservations for next summer, but they are NOT fully booked. Property rental rates must be finalized in our computer system before the availability will reflect on our website calendars. Many of these rates will not be final until the beginning of September-when the re-booking season is complete. So when browsing our website, please contact us regarding ANY property that you are interested in! Our rental team is able to quickly check the availability and suggest alternative offerings should your first choice property indeed be unavailable.
Q. “What exactly IS the ‘re-booking season’”?
A. This is a very good question, especially if you have not previously rented with Homestead. The re-booking policy is in a state of flux….but the current policy states that any tenant who checks out of a rental property this year has first right of refusal for the SAME property and SAME week in 2017…and said tenant has one week from date of checkout to make their decision about next year. We are often able to confirm a re-booking before this one week is up…so if you are interested in a property that is currently rented, don’t hesitate to contact us! You’ll be first on our list to contact should the 2016 tenants choose not to re-book.
Q. “Can I place ‘hold’ on a property for awhile, or must I secure a lease right away?”
A. Due to the competitive nature of the rental market, Homestead cannot hold properties for any length of time. Exceptions do occur (like if we are waiting on rates from a rental owner, for example), but the general rule is that you must fully commit to a rental property and be prepared to execute a lease in order for us to hold said property in your name.
Q. “Does Homestead require a deposit for my 2017 rental?”
A. Yes we do. Bookings for 2017 made prior to December 1st will be placed on a 3 payment schedule. After December 1st, payments are required in 2 installments.
Q. “Does Homestead accept credit card payment? Is there an additional cost for this?”
A. Yes and NO! Homestead was the first rental agency in Cape May to accept credit cards for payment. We began doing so over 10 years ago. As credit card payment for rentals is becoming more ubiquitous, some local companies have chosen to pass the credit card fees onto their guests. Homestead respectfully disagrees with this practice. Be assured that there is NO additional cost to you for booking your rental with a credit card! (Visa, MasterCard, and Discover accepted). ACH electronic check payments and traditional checks are also acceptable methods of payment.
Q. “What happens if I cancel my reservation?”
A. Once Homestead receives a rental installment payment, the property owner is paid for the portion of said rental. Should you cancel your reservation, the owner is under no obligation to return ANY money to you unless the property re-rents for the cancelled week. We strongly encourage the purchase of travel insurance to protect your vacation investment, especially if you’re booking a year in advance! For more information please refer to Homestead’s full cancellation policy located under our guest guidelines.
Q. “Do you have any rental properties that are not listed on your website?”
A. Homestead’s team works diligently to ensure that ALL rental properties are featured on our website as soon as they come into our inventory. So yes, the properties you will see featured are an exhaustive list of what is CURRENTLY available. Please keep in mind that we have new rentals entering our inventory almost every week. If you can’t find a property that suits you or your party, give us a call and let us know what your needs are! We will have you first on the list to contact should we know of a property coming to the market that will interest you.
Can you think of anything else? Let us know! We hope we’ve helped prepare you for booking your 2017 rental, and we encourage you not to delay. Prime booking season begins after the first of the year, but if current trends continue, there will be many homes nearly at full capacity by that time. Don’t miss out on your dream rental! Enjoy these remaining weeks of summer 2016, but remember that the 2017 season will come around fast. Will you be ready?